The water gushing down from Nepal is flooding rivers flowing west into India and the country is blaming road building in India for the woes.
It’s becoming quite extraordinary how helpless man is becoming when up against the fury of nature, accelerating by the day as it is spurred on by climate change. The irony for India is inescapable as vast swathes of its lands in the west, north, northeast and east are under water even as the south is eternally looking up at the sky hoping for a revival of the monsoon to make up for the deficit rainfall felt most in the half empty reservoirs and dry riverbeds. Such fury of extreme rainfall concentrated in particular places is being felt in many parts of the world, but in the more advanced countries the loss of life is minimal. It’s in India that we lose hundreds of our fellow citizens in every seasonal disaster even as flash floods ruin urban and semi urban areas and cause disruption as well as temporary loss of livelihood. The extent to which people living in parts of Assam, Bengal and Bihar have been devastated is once again representative of what little we can do against this phenomenon.
The depredation of clusters of urban and semi-urban colonies on the environment is, however, less than the damage that is being caused to the ecologically sensitive mountains and slopes causing untold damage. The water gushing down from Nepal is flooding rivers flowing west into India and the country is blaming road building in India for the woes. But it is our own hill people who are bearing the brunt of the destruction. Apart from empowering the national disaster response force, there appears to be little we can do as even meteorological forewarnings of extreme rainfall leaves little choice for people in crowded spaces. How we are condemned if it rains and damned if it doesn’t is a life we are inured to now.